Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (146)

Joe Carey

Question:

146. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Transport the progress made with the European Commission to introduce an airport charges rebate scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6854/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government has put in place a range of supports for businesses in response to the COVID crisis. The aviation sector continues to avail of those, particularly the wage subsidy scheme.

However, in recognition of the very difficult circumstances being faced by airports and taking account of the recommendations of the Taskforce for Aviation Recovery, the Government also announced an €80m funding package specifically for the aviation sector in November 2020 which included the proposal for an airport charges/route support scheme, among other schemes, to be taken forward in 2021.

The Government has earmarked a budget of €20 million for this scheme, which is subject to the approval of the European Commission in line with State aid rules.

In this context, my Department is in active engagement with the Commission. Good progress is being made and, if approved, any new schemes will augment the supports already in place. My Department will continue to monitor the financial impact of COVID-19 on the Irish aviation sector on an ongoing basis, in consultation with all key stakeholders and relevant Government Departments.